EMBL-EBI: coordinating biological data

A world-leading initiative in handling biological and biomedical ‘big data’

The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and home to the world’s most comprehensive range of freely available molecular data resources.

EMBL-EBI underpins flagship large-scale science programmes such as UK Biobank 500,000 whole genome sequence analysis, the Human Cell Atlas and the Darwin Tree of Life (the UK’s contribution to the Earth BioGenome project).

Based near Cambridge, it serves as an anchor partner in many human health programmes covering disease progression and treatment, rare diseases, antimicrobial resistance and the modelling of infection outbreaks. It also plays a vital role in wider ventures to improve understanding of biology in areas such as marine systems, stable crops and biodiversity.

With over 64 million web requests received every day, its databases, tools and software support millions of researchers, helping them share and exploit complex information efficiently. As well as coordinating ground-breaking discoveries, independent estimates suggest that EMBL-EBI will underpin research impacts worth at least £920 million a year.

Through partnerships such as Open Targets, EMBL-EBI collaborates with businesses from the pharmaceutical, agri-food, nutrition and healthcare sectors on pre-competitive collaborations by providing access to a sophisticated, large-scale data and computer infrastructure.

EMBL-EBI also hosts the ELIXIR Hub which brings together data from 21 member countries and supports the wider coordination of biological data provision across Europe.


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